Suspended New Orleans lawyer voluntarily disbarred for role in father's bail bond activities

By Karen Kidd | Dec 20, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Suspended New Orleans attorney James Paul Johnson has been voluntarily disbarred following a Dec. 17 Louisiana Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding and his guilty plea last year to not reporting his father's illegal bail bond activities.

The Supreme Court made Johnson's disbarment retroactive to his May 2017 interim suspension, according to the court's single-page attorney disciplinary proceeding.

The state Supreme Court approved the joint petition for consent discipline reached buy Johnson and the office of disciplinary counsel after that office filed formal charges, according to the attorney disciplinary proceeding.

In addition to Johnson's 2017 guilty plea, the disciplinary proceeding also noted his November 2010 no contest plea in New Orleans Municipal Court to simple battery and violation of a protective order.

The high court also ordered Johnson to pay all costs and expenses in the matter, plus legal interest that would commence 30 days from the date of the court's final judgment.

Johnson was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 15, 2004, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.

Johnson, who apparently filed a lawsuit on behalf of a client two days after he was suspended in 2017, long maintained his criminal defense practice, James Johnson and Associates, in New Orleans. No history of discipline prior to his suspension is listed on his state bar profile.  

In April 2017, Johnson pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for Louisiana's Eastern District to misprison of a felony following allegations that he didn't report the illegal activity of an unlicensed bail bondsman, his father Rufus Johnson, according to a local news report.

The following May the state Supreme Court issued an order placing Johnson on interim suspension.

About six months later, a federal judge sentenced Johnson to five years' probation and fined him $50,000 for his misprison guilty plea.

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Louisiana State Bar Association Louisiana Supreme Court U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

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